Even though prenuptial agreements are becoming more popular and acceptable in Ohio, there may still be couples that are hesitant to bring up the subject with their intended spouse. There are many people who still consider prenuptial agreements to be divorce planning. On the contrary, these agreements can be used as an estate planning tool to protect children from a prior marriage.

There are many divorcees in Ohio that have done estate planning to provide for their children. When those same people are contemplating a second marriage, they need to ensure that the estate plan they have in place will survive their second marriage in the event of their death. One way to ensure this is to have a prenuptial agreement.

When one spouse dies, the other spouse has the right to renounce the deceased spouse's will and assert their spousal claim to half of the deceased spouse's estate. This can happen regardless of any verbal agreement the couple may have had to the contrary. If this was to happen, the children of the deceased spouse would be deprived of the inheritance that spouse intended for them to have.

Both spouses can waive these rights in a prenuptial agreement that, if properly drafted and executed, would be binding on the surviving spouse and their estate. This would give both spouses peace of mind that their children from a prior marriage would still receive their inheritance. Any couple considering having a prenuptial, or even post-nuptial, agreement may want to consider seeking advice and assistance in drafting and executing such an agreement in order to ensure the agreement retains its validity. In this way, prenuptial agreements can be a useful estate planning tool.

Source: Business Lexington, "Protecting your child's inheritance in a second marriage," Kevin Henry and Doug Martin, Jan. 3, 2013